At my time of life, I have the freedom of doing what I like, when I like. I can set my own priorities. I can manage my own time. Yet, at any time of the day I can change these. It is very liberating deciding what to do and when to do it and when I will complete any given task. Of course, there are risks in this new age of freedom I find myself in. The major risk is the potential to do the things I love and postpone those that are not as appealing!
I like to embrace this age of freedom. But it does not always come with a sense of contentment. Contentment and happiness come with liking what we do in life. If I do not get satisfaction out of what I am doing it does not make me feel good. It is better if I discover what brings me joy and focus on that. If you are doing a volunteer job and feel unappreciated, than there is no joy in that. As a wise friend said to me years ago ‘if it is not doing you any good, then stop doing it.’
But how do we find joy when life is ordinary? Most of us are there most of the time. But we all like different things. So, it is up to us to find something to do we enjoy. This is where we find our joy. If we can pepper our day with joy, alongside the mundane, we find our happy place.
This winter I enjoyed seeing an abundance of fruit on our lemon and lime trees. It was satisfying growing our own fruit. The oranges, our first good crop, were small but sweet. Seeing the fruit, all grown without pesticides, gave me joy.
I can find simple pleasures each day. I like to call them ‘pockets of joy.’ Things I can do, that I enjoy, now that I have the freedom of doing what I like with my time. But then there are ‘pockets of joy’ that come in another form. A phone call from someone you love, is a ‘pocket of joy.’ A birthday parcel, unexpected, another ‘pocket of joy ‘. Then the ‘pocket of joy’ when my O&O (One & Only) turns up at my desk with a bowl of strawberries.
But the great joy of having the freedom to do what I like is that it is all up to me. I can delegate a task to myself. I can delay a task or if I decide that my project is a waste of time, I can dump it in the bin. Even in my age of freedom I am still putting into the practice the principles I used when I was managing a busy job. The time management principle of DO, DELAY, DELEGATE OR DUMP.
But what I really like about the freedom of doing what I like is choice. The freedom to choose when I will do the task. I decide when it is right to delay. I decide when it is right to delegate or right to dump the task from my mind and life altogether.
I am forever making more time and deleting emails before I read them (dump). Another way to manage all the emails is to set aside an allocated part of the day (delay). But sometimes I must get on with it and read them, without any more delay, do it! Life is full of these moments – the ‘just do it’ moments. What about those pile of clean clothes in the laundry basket? It will only take a few minutes to fold them and put them away.
The DO, DELAY, DELEGATE or DUMP principle is a golden oldie. Yet it is simple to apply and makes life easier when you have many competing priorities in your day.
Freedom can give us the right to do the things you want to do. But freedom is also doing what is right. Time for me to ponder that one.